Unlike email, texting is regulated by TCPA laws, monitored by the cell phone carriers, and enforced by the FCC. Here are the basics of what lube operators need to know about text message compliance.
It is illegal to send even one outgoing marketing text message to a consumer before he/she opts-in to receive it.
The best way to collect an opt-in is for the consumer to use his/her own personal cell phone, and text a keyword to a shortcode that has been approved to send alerts by the wireless carriers.
When the consumer sends the text message, it establishes “proof” of who, where and when the consumer opted-in. Text message companies are required to store this “proof” in case of a dispute.
Equally important – consumers must be able to opt-out anytime to quit receiving texts, and if a consumer changes their cell phone number, the old number must also quit receiving texts.
POS Systems are Problematic
Point-of-sale and CRM/DMS systems are not designed to collect, and store “proof” of consumer opt-ins, opt-outs, and cell phone number changes. Therefore, text vendors that rely on POS/CRM/DMS databases to gather cell phone numbers put lube operators at legal risk.
Vetting the Vendor
Text Vendors doing any of these 5 RED FLAGS are putting lube operators at LEGAL RISK:
- opt-ins are captured in an onsite POS/CRM system (or paper file)
- vendor accesses cell phone numbers from an onsite POS/CRM database
- vendor asks for consumers’ wireless provider (i.e. Verizon, Sprint, etc) when they opt-in
- vendor sends text messages from a number longer than 6 digits
- vendor cannot provide wireless carrier shortcode approvals
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